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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  June 10, 2012 5:15pm-6:00pm EDT

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>> you are watching book tv. forty hours of nonfiction authors and books on c-span 2. mr. tran-eights book >> today we have bob deans, his new book is called "reckless: the political assault on the american environment." he speaks for about half an hour. >> binky so much for joining this presentation this evening. my name is melissa, and tonight's program will include remarks from the nrdc action director heather taylor and "reckless" author, bob deans. we will open it up for an
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interactive q&a. please start thinking about what questions you'd like you would like to ask baba for the evening is over. following the q&a, he will be available to sign books. i now have the pleasure of introducing heather taylor muesli. heather guides the organization's strategy to build an environmental majority, and promoting our environmental safeguards. heather has more than 13 years of experience in federal politics, both as a public interest lobbyist and on capitol hill. prior to taking on the role of director for the nrdc action fund, she had her own consulting business and previously was the deputy legislative director at the natural resources defense council. prior to her position at nrdc, had worked on capitol hill as an aid to ted strickland. she then worked as a senior staff member for current labor secretary told us always. during her time on capitol hill,
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heather cofounded the democratic caucus team, which continues to help democratic members communicate more effectively with constituents about the environment and energy issues. heather is married with two beautiful children and resides in california. please welcome heather. >> good evening, thank you for joining us this evening to celebrate the nrdc action fund book release. "reckless: the political assault on the american environment", written by stafford bob deans. please join me in giving him a round of applause. [applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] bob is always a joy to work with, so it is always good to recognize that kind of dedication.
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so often we deal with so many fights, that it is nice to be dealing with a gentleman. also come even better, to be dealing with an informed gentleman. i came to the environment on a gymnasium floor. i grew up in ashland, kentucky, where the ashland oil refinery is the station. you see our school was literally the playground with eye level and the top of the refinery smokestacks. my first memory of caring about the environment was sitting on a green gymnasium floor listening to the parents argue about why exactly their kids were getting sick. why were their cancer clusters. i remember my mom saying this is about the environment, yes, but this is about my kid. i think that what is very interesting about the environment is that when it comes down to it, it is always about our kids, right? the people who gathered in that gymnasium with that big old
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green floor had nothing to do with democrats. they had nothing to do with republicans. they were parents. the environmental issues that bob talks about in his books are not ones that really have to do with partisanship at all. there is a conversation that we hold in gymnasiums and that her kitchen tables. the majorityof folks are really trying to protect their children. the nrdc action fund is all about rebuilding the environmental majority that has very little to do with democrats and republicans. what i honestly can't think of a better time to release this book. we are just a few days away from elevating earth day 2012. "reckless" is a strong reminder that by working together, we are able to come a long way to protect the environment. we must come together again to stop any and all attempts to
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move backwards, and this can only be done through cooperation of both sides of the aisle. members are really ready to gather around the kitchen table. tonight is truly a special honor for me as we launch "reckless", but also, as we honor the author and my colleague, bob deans. bob joined the nrdc action fund after spending three decades as a newspaper reporter, including a stint as cheap asian correspondent for the atlantic journal constitution. as former president of the white house correspondents association, bob deans is the author of the 2007 book, "the river", a river where america began. he is also the author of the book "clean energy common
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sense", "deep water." he lives in bethesda, maryland with his wife and three children. please join me in giving a warm welcome to bob deans. [applause] [applause] >> binky so much, heather, and thank you all so much tonight. a special welcome to the folks from c-span tv. thank you so much for being here with us. i want to recognize my public -- publisher. john, this is my third book togeth with you. not everyone involved are speaking to each other, but we still are. [laughter] john has a mind of an ancient philosopher and the heart of a riverboat gambler. that is what we like about john. and he has the world's greatest
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publishing editor, darcy evans. also, we would like to think some people who work very hard to make this a great night. my colleagues, ed chen, lisa, and corey, thank you all very much for your hard work. i really appreciate it. [applause] [applause] >> i send you greetings tonight from nrdc action fund president, frances, francis, and i also want to say thank you to our executive director for his support, and of course come to the heart and soul of the entire nrdc family, the founder, john adams. i also want to say a quick thank you to robert redford for writing the magnificent forward to this book, and former
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congresswoman sherry bullard. here in washington, no writer toils alone. this book is based on the efforts of everyone in the nrdc action fund. and so many ways, this book reflects the work of you all. those of you who have stood up for nature, some of you for years, some of you for decades, telling the truth about the threats to our environment. those of you who have labored to find the policy solutions that we need to take us forward. those of you who use our laws and courts to hold polluters accountable to the public we all serve. telling the truth about the threats, developing the policy solutions that guide us forward, and holding polluters accountable. that is what environmental leadership means. that is what the nrdc family is all about. i could stand here tonight and name one staffer after another who embodies this epic for us
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all. yet, in this last year, in these difficult times, there is one person whose work who's worked truly represents the best of all we do. work that inspired me to the creation of this book. and so i would like to say for that, a very special thank you to john locke. [applause] [applause] >> these are challenging times for our country. times of great opportunity, yes, times as many obstacles as well. over the past year, we have struggled with historic debt and the enduring fallout from the worst recession since world war ii. u.s. troops are fighting their 11th, grinding year in afghanistan, and u.s. forces have just returned after eight years of war in iraq. many of our closest european allies are facing economic ruin. the middle east has been remade by democratic street revolutions
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that have stretched to the gates of the kremlin. and occupy wall street has turned into a global movement. from the turmoil, opportunity, and change, which of these issues commanded the attention of the united states house of representatives? putting our fiscal house in order? defeating our battlefield foes? shoring up our transatlantic partners and friends? addressing the gap between rich and poor? what single action might be named tonight, in fact, that the house has taken since early last year that might help us to embrace opportunity or rights to challenge it home or abroad? what might they have done to help us as a nation, to manage these times? nothing quickly comes to mind.
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perhaps, that is one reason why public job approval of our congress has plunged to a historic low. just 10% of the american people give our congress a thumbs-up. there are 535 folks in the congress with a 10% job approval rating, they are about down to family members. [laughter] this really isn't funny. instead of addressing exceptional challenges and extraordinary times, our house has chosen instead to wage the single worst legislative assault in history on the foundational safeguards we all depend on to protect our environment and health. since republicans gain the house majority after the elections of 2010, that body has voted more than 200 times to undermine existing protections, or to weekend, delay or block needed measures to deal with emerging
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threats. the votes have targeted protections like the clean water act, the clean air act, legislation that was put in place over decades by republicans and democrats working together. they have gone after public investments in energy efficiency, and the removal power technology that can lead us forward, including support for programs that were set up by president george w. bush. they have undermined the environmental protection agency, established by richard nixon. and also its authority to hold polluters accountable. they have threatened iconic places from the great lakes to the gulf of mexico, from the appalachian mountains to the chesapeake bay. turning away from the national wildlife and preservation legacy, this country has pursued for more than a century, since the presidency of the president
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theodore roosevelt. it is an assault on the american environment. it is reckless, relentless, wrong, and it is time we all stood up to try to turn this around. [applause] [applause] now, this assault is not about jobs, as the proponents claim. it is about putting polluter profits first and putting the rest of us at risk. from the air we breathe, to the water that we drink, from the mountains to the sea. government regulations of all kinds account for far less than 1% of all major layoffs in our economy. we have economic data from the bureau of labor statistics that proves that. decades of data make clear that our economy has been strengthened by efforts to keep our environment clean, to keep our workers healthy. nearly 2 million americans go to
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work each day, cleaning up the air we breathe, the water we drink, the lands and wildlife that we use and enjoy. the american people did not ask for this rampage, but somebody else did. the corporate polluters who spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year lobbying here in washington come and pumping up the campaign coffers of any politician that will carry a smokestack agenda on capitol hill. these corporate polluters have the right to be heard. the rest of us have an obligation to speak up for ourselves about what is good for the rest of the country. eight in 10 americans want our environmental regulations straightened her left lung, according to a pew research poll released in february. we need to say something.
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publicans and democrats have always had a conversation about how to best protect our health. never before has a single party embarked to disagree on an effort to eviscerate our environmental protection. this is a sharp departure from the republican history of environment of stewardship, stretching back more than a century. it was teddy roosevelt who established our first national wildlife preserve in florida. laying the groundwork for what has become 635 million acres of public place set aside. it was dwight eisenhower who created the arctic national wildlife preserve. it was richard nixon who created the environmental protection agency. ronald reagan went after lead in gasoline, george h. w. bush when after acid rain. these were republican presidents, everyone, and i daresay, they would not recognize some of the members of
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their own party in the house today, and they certainly wouldn't vote alongside of them. .. los angeles was the smog capitol of the world. and the waterways of our
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heartland were so does a crowded and polluted that the kaj of the river which really caught fire. we have come of long way since then. some would have us believe that our job is done. well, it isn't. not when a copper mine in alaska can still present one of the greatest areas in the world. we have more work to do. now when a renegade oil welcome put at risk the fertile waters of the gulf of mexico. we have more work to do. not when commuters across this country are terrified of hydraulic fracturing, not when thousands of our children suffer from asthma, exacerbated by air pollution, and not with the ravages of climate change reached deeper into our lives every single day. we have got more work to do. no single party can do this alone. safeguarding our environment is
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bi-partisan work. now is not the time to turn our backs on for decades of environmental progress put in place by leaders of courage and vision for both parties. it is time, instead, to honor our debt to our forbearers, make good on our promise to our children, and rebuild the bipartisan majority for our environment. the stakes are too high for anything less. that is why we have written this little book. i appreciate your time tonight. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much. a man not going to let you get too far away. we will open it up for q&a. suzanne has a microphone. we will need you to go to the microphone, or she will come to you.
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that we can make sure that we hear you. do we have anyone brave enough to ask the first question? that's what i was afraid of. so how about i take it off and then someone promises to ask the second question. so, i think that probably the one question you always get. why did you decide to write this book? what was the thinking behind it? how did you get it done so quickly when all of the data you used is from 2011 and barely in april 2012? >> well, thanks. the reason i brought it to actually was because i was inspired. mike co-workers across the family, i worked -- i am privileged to work every day with the best in the business when it comes to standing up for nature and our environment. and as i watched month after month of people working in our waters program, her program, on the program, lance program, and oceans program, and i saw people
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going head-to-head day in and day out against this kind of reckless assaults. and i kept waiting for the big article to come out in the traditional media way all this out, explain to the american people what was the one on, what was behind this, reminding as it was not the american people were asking for this, but corporate polluters who were demanding, and getting what they're asking for. it finally dawned on me that the definition of the traditional news media has left us largely in a place in this country where these kinds of stories are getting harder and harder for people to tell. this seems to me to be the opportunity for us to tell it because, i traveled around the country, grew up in a very conservative area come from the. i can't think of a single american anywhere who would not be outraged to learn what has been going on. i can't think of a single american anyone who understands
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what is going on. i thought if we could put in a book that someone could read into hours and figure out it would help us figure out where we need to go from here. i am grateful for the question. >> to we have any questions from the audience? >> to questions about the politics of this. first of all, what role would you say that tea party has been pushing the agenda in that direction? and second, what is the real -- role of the religious right in protecting the environment? sometimes you hear their religious people should be stewards of god's creations and other times you hear religious people say that god created natural resources for us to use. >> thank you so much for the question. i don't think there is any question that the mainstream christian community has embraced the former notion that you put out there, which is that we are called by scripture to be
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stewards of god's creation. we're called to be stewards of this earth. take care of the earth and not to exploit and ravage and story. i think more and more mainstream christians and whether we are talking about christian republicans or christian democrats, we are embracing that you and speaking out in that direction. and it is all to the good. the tea party has played a fascinating world right at the crux of this shift for the republican party. the tea party tends to be a little bit more trusting of corporations than they are of government. they don't trust government. they want it to be smaller. there are a lot of well-meaning, well-intentioned, good hearted, patriotic americans who see this and the tea party as their way in. what has happened, however, corporate polluters, big oil and gas, incinerator operators, refineries, petrochemical companies. and we go into this in the book.
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they have bankrolled the tea party to the tune of scores of millions of dollars paid for buses for rallies, venues for town hall meetings, speakers, other kinds of materials. they have enabled the tea party to delphi's as a national movement. they have been hijacked the tea party agenda because, when at tea party member in ohio or pennsylvania or michigan stands up and says, we want smaller government, they mean something very different than when a petrochemicals operator stands up and says we want smaller government. and so what has happened, i believe, is that the tea party movement has been largely hijacked by corporate polluters to give a populist veneer to a smokestack agenda that i don't think most tea party years actually embrace. it has translated in this city into a situation in which you have hundreds of lobbyists funded by hundreds of millions of dollars every year going up, patting backs, twisting arms on capitol hill and going to bat for the shareholders of these
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corporate polluters for the sake of greater profit. we need to stand up and say, we respect your right to speak out on behalf of the shareholders. the rest of us have a responsibility to speak up on what is it for the future of our country. >> we have another question over here. >> i am wondering, could you talk a little bit about coming, the presidential campaign? i think some of it, looking back, would be surprised to see how much of so many of our really core issues now seem poised to have a center role in this campaign and how you see that playing out. >> thank you. that is a great question. i see it playing out in a big way. some lines of demarcation have already been drawn. president obama has made clear that he believes in climate
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change. he believes it's threatening us all, was slick caused by man-made activities and that we ought to be doing something about it. governor romney believe that at one time. i suspect he still does. but he is going to have to be asked on the campaign trail if it is still a problem and if not how we fix it. we go into the book and, the fact that there was a vote in the house last year. the question was put to the house of representatives, do you agree with the epa finding a climate change is real and that is largely caused by man-made activities? only one republican in the entire house about it in the affirmative. mid has his work cut out for him, but i think more specifically we need to remember two things. number one, a presidential election is not really about the candidate. it is about us as a nation, who we are. and it is not so much a national election as it is a group of
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statewide elections. and so there are three key issues that are going to impact on a state-by-state level. the first is the protection of our communities. we are now discovering a huge amount of natural gas and oil and shale. and through new technology that has been cemented and fostered by 30 years of public investment in the department of energy, we are drilling thousands and thousands of wells nationwide in to this shale. it has terrified communities across this country because the pace of the drilling has far outstripped our ability to provide a responsible public oversight for it. the oversight simply has not kept pace. so we need to come up with a way to protect our communities, protect our air, water, and keep our eye on the price which is an energy future that is diversified, that is not solely resting on old-line fossil fuels that are dangerous, destructive,
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and adding carbon to our planet and changing our climate. we need to be about the business of continuing to invest in energy efficiency and safer, sustainable, more renewable sources of power and fuel, wind, solar, and others. i think we're going to see the candid it's ask those questions, and it is going to be interesting to see the approach they take. vital for the country that we take the right turns command that whoever is elected president make the right decisions that aren't the best interest of the long-term future of our country. >> hi, bob. >> say. >> i am looking forward to reading the book as i sure many environmentalists are. what is your strategy to get the book in the hands of the people that you really think need to read it? >> thank you. we hope this book, it is written for a heartland audience, quite honestly for my mother who is a bone marrow republican. bless her heart, she did actually read.
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she called me to tell me, i read it. there was a pause. she said, it was hard to read it. god bless her. she's 86. she read the book. i'm not sure i would want to be standing by her when she pulls a lever in november and the ballot booth, but she read the book, and i hope others will. this is not a partisan issue. protecting our environment is not a red issue or bluish you. it is a core american values, and has been for decades. what is new, changed is to have people standing up, taking vote after vote after vote after vote 200 times in the space of a little more than a year to undermine its safeguards that were put in place over four decades by republicans and democrats working together, working in good faith, doing the hard work of building on common ground, finding compromise, and moving the country forward. we cannot sit by, we cannot stand by and watch that to be
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taken apart. we just can't. and so we hope that this book will be read by a hard land audience and in town halls questions come up and people write letters to their editors, make phone calls to their congressman and senators, people will stand up, speak out, and let the elected representatives know what we care about as americans in this country, the way we care about our future, the health of our children. >> so many of the political debates, abstract and victimless. you talk to people around the country in writing this book. can you tell us one of the stories that aspires to? >> that is a great question. americans have this big since that money and politics is having a corrosive influence. they are tired of the partisanship and paralysis and
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not getting things done. really do we get to david window into how these forces affect the life of the nation the way we have on the environmental front this past year. one of the things that was important in the book and the second chapter is to talk about how this affects real people. i will tell the one story, a woman named paul's origin who lives outside of the flea, was virginia. a year ago the epa took a look at a proposed on top removal project in west virginia, spruce number one. this project was calling to to strike thousands of acres of mountains, some of the oldest mountains anywhere in the world. it was meant to take the waste and rubble and toxic treatise of this destruction and temple it into a 7 miles of allegheny appalachian mountain streams, some of the best water in the
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region and destroy those streams, buried them alive for a level to forever. and paul's where engine and some other stuff. my grandfather was a cold manner. my father was a coal miner. i bury both of them. and here to touch you, they would not stand for this. after consideration the epa used its statutory authority to protect streams and to block on top removal. three weeks later, three weeks later the house of representatives voted to strip the epa of its authority to protect the streams. who supported? a brand-new freshman congressman from west virginia who has received more money from the coal industry and anybody else now, two years ago this month 29
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miners were killed in west virginia in a tragic accident, the worst in decades. we have yet to hear from the congress won a single piece of legislation to make mining safer for the kind of workers who died in that mine. three weeks, three weeks it took the house to cut the legs out from under the epa when it tried to protect the streams, and in two years they cannot act to protect our minors. that is worse than paralysis. that is a national disgrace, and we were happy to deal to write about that in the book. i'm sorry that it happened, but i hope that every american understands the story, understands what it means, and understands that we need to demand better from the people who represent us up on capitol hill. no american. thank you. >> jim pier bond. how do you envision any kind of
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a bipartisan consensus forming on or after november that will achieve a little bit or maybe half of what you're espousing in your book. what helped we have? >> you know, hope has to come from the people of this country. people of this country have to speak up. you know, the corporations that pollute for-profit are very well organized, very well funded. they're going to have their voice heard, no question about it. they have that right. the rest of us need to speak as well. if we do that, and the town hall meetings, in the newspapers, letters to the editor, and our conversations with our senators and congressman, conversations around the kitchen table with each other, if we begin to express that, if we get that word to our leaders on capitol hill it will change. we can find common ground. there are many republicans, and we quote many in our book to are very uncomfortable. we talked to christine whitman
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who was the epa administrator under george w. bush. i have been appalled. "in the book. she can't understand why the republican party has turned its back on its own legacy of environmental stewardship through the decades. we talk to william reilly, george h. w. bush epa administrator. he feels the same way. he does not understand this. there are a lot of republicans who are uncomfortable with the. we need to communicate this to our elected leaders, let them know that we're not going to be one -- run roughshod. let this party know that it is going to have to return to its roots, its environmental history, and its conservative groups, conservative tenants of thrift, independents. you know, we "t.s. eliot in the book. he is generally thought of as the most learned man of letters to be a conservative voice in the 20th-century. t.s. eliot has this wonderful
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poem, the waste land. it is not an informal poll. he wrote 80 years ago. the images in it are stark. t.s. eliot and one of the most famous lines in the wasteland says, i will show you fear in a handful of dust. the house has shown us here, not in a handful of dust, but in a torrent of bad legislation. the single worst legislative assault in history against the environment safeguards we'll depend on to protect our environment and health. we need to stand up, speak out. we need to turn this around. [applause] >> every weekend book tv offers 48 hours of programming focused on nonfiction authors and books. watch it here on c-span2.
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>> pulitzer prize-winning author david maraniss travel the globe to research his new book, barack obama, the story, visit places like can get to examine the president's family tree. book tv will give you a preview with the exclusive pictures and video, including our trip to kenya with the author in january january 2010. join us sunday at 6:00 p.m. eastern and later at 730 that same night. your phone calls coming e-mails command tweets on c-span2 book tv. >> it is a buck.ost: o we talk about the founding fathers, what is the era we're l talking about?? the events here talking about?me >> we're talking about the american revolution and the wrecking of the constitution. and those are the two keyor events. t everybody who played a major cim role come plan to be a founding
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father. obviously some of thee older on, had careers before the american the denver once had careers that went on quite a few years after the signing of the constitutioni that is what we're talkinger about. >> some of the older and younger >> benjamin franklin, the oldesr born in 17 '06. 16. he knows scott matter. that is so old he is, and he dies in 1790. he is -- he size but the declaration of independence and the constitution.e the last to die is james madison . he is born in 1751, and he dies in 1836, 85 years old. so he has seen the fight overio missouri being admitted to the union. he has seen some nullification,c but he is the last one. aaron burr, i think. but that is the other side.
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>> in 2006 he wrote, what with the founders to? qud in that book you right, the founders invite our questionssc now because they invited discussion with a lift. they were argumentative, expansive noel's hanging their ideas out to dry in public i speeches and in journalism. >> well, that's right.ue they set up a republic, and verg proud of doing that. this is unique among virtually unique in the world. there were -- you know, there were -- kind of a republic, although that was going down the tubes.c b this is a unique form of s government being created.or and compared to all its competitors, marquise, it is's . open. on an intimate is based on popular will. yes, o ff course, the franchisel restricted in a lot of ways, but still, their is a franchise.
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voters, the electorate, have to the appeal to. be it has to be brought along.e it has to be instructed. they do disgustedly. a lot of them are journalists. t they write for the some of them are professionals, journalists, alexander hamiltonl founds a newspaper that is stild going. york post. he founded it, the first publisher. benjamin franklin, of course,ub was the great american publisher . a sam adams was a publisher. it is hard to think of founderss who did not write journals.m. george washington didn't. rar you know, that is very rare. even someone like james madison who did not particularly like and was not great at it, he screwed himself up and wrote 29 federalist papers which were op-ed pieces in newspapers. so these guys, these men know
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that they have to put themselves out there for the americanch i public, which is their si. constituency.s. >> know it all. it >> well, no at all. they were -- they were well-educated. look. cnt it is a little country. hav the colleges we have, we have ao handful of colleges and they aro tiny.olge yo know, harvard or king's college which becomes columbia m or gail or princeton. they have a few dozen students, unlike the thousands that they have today. but, you know, most of these mee were college those who were not made sure t that they read it all theiriv lives. then felt that they had to be up on both the news of the day in the political theory of the day.
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they all knew there montesquieu. if you listen to their debateset you would have thought that montesquieu's first two names were the celebrated because he is always called the celebrated montesquieu. and they also knew their ancieng history. english history, recent english history, and they knew theirnc ancient history, history of the classical world, their history of rome, their history of a greece. it did not always admire what they read.t hamilton and the federalist hiso papers, the history of of ofgre theek city states is disgusting because they all, you know, they go through cycles of tyranny and chaos. heopes that is what he hopes america can avoid, but that is a bu negative example.soou h you have to know the negative examples as well. y >> you also say, though, and tommy if i am paraphrasing theag strong.g our founding fathers were lesser well-traveled, perhaps even less
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sophisticated than high-schoolta seniors today or veterans fromu. afghanistan.un >> well, sure. it is harder to get around the world.ssin and crossing the atlantic ocean2 takes, you know, 20 days if you are really lucky it can take 80 days if you fall on icebergs ano storms. s john adams crosses the atlantic on one of his wages.tti the ship struck by lightning ans everybody on board has to pump e until it makes landfall in t europe. all the passengers just have to take turns because the ship ises filling with water.fillg you know, so it is hard to getd around. it is hard to get around the united states. to i mean, to go from new york city ba albany, new york. if you took a horse it would take you three days on your own horse or and a coach. if you took a boat, up theee
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hudson, that would take three rt days if the wind was right. if the wind was bad it could take you a couple, you know, tef days to give from new york city to albany. you know, and on the train, it's like it's a few hours. so, yes, there are restrictionsg that come from not being able to get around. but the flip side of that is what they did know, they knew very well. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> here is a look at some books being published this week. nationally syndicated radio and former fox news host glenn beck argues that several issues are not getting the attention that they need a politicians and the media in cowards, what politicians, radicals, and the media refused cent. in twilight of the elites america after meritocracy, christopher hayes, washington d.c. editor of the nation
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analyzes what the public has developed such a distrust of authority. author rebecca stock recounts the collective discovery of evolution and the philosophers that paved the way for darwin's theory in darwin's coast, the secret history of evolution. in the zero bosnians, the struggle inside the white house to redefine american power, former los angeles times reporter and foreign correspondent james man explains how the president's administration created and implemented for and policies. take a blast in, managing editor of front page magazine and author david horowitz argued that the democratic party represents the rich and powerful and the new leviathan, how left-wing money machine ships american politics and threatens america's future. in america, use sexy bitch, a love letter to freedom, may in mccain, daughter of senator john mccain and comedian michael ian black discuss their differences, similarities command of politics have become s


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